Hal Herzog





Hal Herzog

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Hal Herzog has been investigating the complex psychology of our interactions with other species for more than two decades. He is particularly interested in how people negotiate real-world ethical dilemmas, and he has studied animal activists, cockfighters, animal researchers, and circus animal trainers. An award-winning teacher and researcher, he has written more than 100 articles and book chapters. His research has been published in journals such as Science, The American Psychologist, The Journal of the Royal Society, The American Scholar, New Scientist, Anthrozoös, BioScience, The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and Animal Behavior. His work has been covered by Newsweek, Slate, Salon, National Public Radio, Scienti...more


Average rating: 3.81 · 1,642 ratings · 304 reviews · 1 distinct work · Similar authors
Some We Love, Some We Hate,...
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 1,642 ratings — published 2010 — 13 editions
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“The inconsistencies that haunt our relationships with animals also result from the quirks of human cognition. We like to think of ourselves as the rational species. But research in cognitive psychology and behavioral economics shows that our thinking and behavior are often completely illogical. In one study, for example, groups of people were independently asked how much they would give to prevent waterfowl from being killed in polluted oil ponds. On average, the subjects said they would pay $80 to save 2,000 birds, $78 to save 20,000 birds, and $88 to save 200,000 birds. Sometimes animals act more logically than people do; a recent study found that when picking a new home, the decisions of ant colonies were more rational than those of human house-hunters.
What is it about human psychology that makes it so difficult for us to think consistently about animals? The paradoxes that plague our interactions with other species are due to the fact that much of our thinking is a mire of instinct, learning, language, culture, intuition, and our reliance on mental shortcuts.”
Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals

“Psycholinguists argue about whether language reflects our perception of reality or helps create them. I am in the latter camp. Take the names we give the animals we eat. The Patagonian toothfish is a prehistoric-looking creature with teeth like needles and bulging yellowish eyes that lives in deep waters off the coast of South America. It did not catch on with sophisticated foodies until an enterprising Los Angeles importer renamed it the considerably more palatable "Chilean sea bass.”
Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals

“The researchers found that nearly every change they made was followed by a temporary uptick in performance, even when it involved simply undoing a previous change. They concluded that the increases in worker productivity were not due to better lighting or better pay or longer breaks per se. They were just temporary improvements caused by a change in routine.”
Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals



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